Hinsdale plans new amenities for KLM Park
Updated: September 10, 2012 1:10PM
HINSDALE — New amenities, such as walking paths, a playground and a disc golf course, are being added to Katherine Legge Memorial Park in Hinsdale. But most of the money to pay for the improvements is not coming out of residents’ pockets.
After receiving a $150,000 grant from Lyons Township to build a picnic shelter in the park, the village secured a matching grant of $150,000 from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources through the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program.
“We hoped to parlay the grants so all these projects could be built at no cost to our residents,” said Gina Hassett, Hinsdale’s director of parks and recreation.
The new picnic shelter, on the left side of the drive going east into the park, was completed last fall.
With the remaining money and $20,000 of village funds, the parks and recreation department planned to put in asphalt paths and a disc golf course, regrade four lacrosse fields in the park and install an irrigation system for the fields.
But the bids received in June for the projects totaled $236,000, so the parks staff and consultants reduced the scope of the work to reduce the cost.
The paths, which will connect the various recreation areas, will be 6-feet wide instead of 10 feet, and made of crushed limestone instead of asphalt. This change actually was regarded more favorably by the IDNR grant office because limestone is a permeable surface, Hassett reported.
The plan includes replacing the sand volleyball court next to the playground, with a new “nature-based playground,” Hassett said. The new playground will not have swings and slides like the existing playground, which will remain. Instead, it will feature a reading nook, “stepping logs” and music-making components.
The parks department staff pared down the original playground design by eliminating a child-sized log cabin, a decorative fence around the playground, and some of the landscape plantings.
Such changes reduced the total price to about $180,200. Although that cost still exceeds the budget for the projects by about $10,000, the Administration and Community Affairs Committee on Monday, recommended the village accept the bids. If the improvements proposed for the grant are modified to too great an extent, Hassett warned they may no longer qualify for the grant.
If the Village Board approves the contracts at its meeting Aug. 14, construction of the projects, with the exception of the disc golf course which is nearly completed, will begin in September.